One of the simplest and cheapest upgrades of your racing bike is the change of the handlebar tape. The impact is no small matter: the aesthetics and even the visual impact of the bicycle can change considerably.

But the choice of the handlebar tape does not just boil down to a mere aesthetic question: on the market there are several models, made with different materials, to be used in dedicated contexts. In this article, we will see how a handlebar tape is made, the materials used and the correct selection criteria.

Here we will be listing the top 13 best handlebar tapes.

SaleRANK NO. 1
BV EVA Road Bike Handlebar Tapes, Bicycle Bar Tape, Cycling Handle Wraps – 2...
  • EVA Foam material with embossed “BV” logo provides comfortable and anti-slip grip.
  • Ultra-light and durable quality absorbs shock and vibration during cycling.
  • Fade, water, and UV-radiation resistant.
  • 3M adhesive backing is easy to install.
  • Includes 2 handlebar end plugs and 2 finishing tapes
SaleRANK NO. 2
Supacaz Super Sticky Kush Classic - Black
  • Includes: 2-Super Sticky Kush tape rolls. 2-Aluminum Laser Etched Powder Coated Star Plugz. 2-High End Rubberized Finish Tapes
  • Material: PU-Length: 2160mm Width: 30mm Thickness: 3mm
  • Super Sticky PU (top layer): Superior hand feel with long lasting performance
RANK NO. 3
Bike Handlebar Tapes, Cork Bike Handlebar Tape, Bicycle Bar Tape, Cycling Handle...
  • 1.>VALUE PACK BIKE HANDLEBAR TAPE --Package includes 2 ABS plastic bar plugs and 2 handlebar tape.(2000mm long by 30mm wide).
  • 2.>COMFORTABLE and ANTI-SLIP GRIP DESIGN---This bike handlebar tapes made of absorbent and Soft Material can effectively mitigate...
  • 3.>HIGH QUALITY MATERIAL---Our EVA road bike handlebar tape is Ultra-light and durable quality absorbs shock and vibration during...
  • 4.>EASY TO INSTALL---Also this bike handlebar tapes easy to install and convenient to wrap and re-wrap to correct the position....
  • 5.>WEAR RESISTANT –Our EVA Road Bike Handlebar Tap Designed for comfort and performance without sacrificing durability or...
SaleRANK NO. 4
Brooks England Microfiber Bar Tape
  • Synthetic microfiber fabric
  • 3mm tape width
  • Includes Brooks England's vulcanized rubber end plugs
  • Easy to install
RANK NO. 5
Cinelli Cork Gel Ribbon Handlebar Tape, Corky
  • Vibration dampening
  • Padding for a comfy ride.
  • Sold as two self-adhesive rolls per box
  • Enough to wrap one handlebar
  • Cinelli end caps included
RANK NO. 6
ROCKBROS Bike Handlebar Tape for Road Bike Grip Tape Bicycle Handlebar Grip Tape...
  • ANTI-SLIP: Surface PU leather offer well sweat absorption, anti-slip and wear-resistant performance.
  • COMFORTABLE: The soft EVA material effectively absorbs shocks to make riding more comfortable and provides longer service life.
  • EASY TO INSTALL: With adhesive tape on the back, convenient to wrap and not easy to fall off, strong wrapping performance.
  • MULTI-PURPOSE: Fits most road bike handlebars, also suitable for fishing rods, tennis rackets, steering wheels, etc.
  • PACKAGE INCLUDE: Comes with 2 handlebar tape, 2 ABS plastic bar plugs and 2 finishing tapes, each tape is about 84” long and...
RANK NO. 7
Sex, Lies and Handlebar Tape: The Remarkable Life of Jacques Anquetil, the First...
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Howard, Paul (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 322 Pages - 04/01/2011 (Publication Date) - Mainstream Digital (Publisher)
SaleRANK NO. 8
SRAM Supercork Bicycle Bar Tape (White)
  • BIKE HANDLEBAR TAPE- Light and durable all-purpose bicycle tape.
  • COLOR ASSORTMENT- Available in a range of color options.
  • FOR ROAD BIKES- Vibration damping. Adds padding for a more comfortable bike ride.
  • GOOD FOR TWO HANDLEBARS- Includes handlebar end plugs and finishing tape.
  • SYNTHETIC CORK TAPE- 3M adhesive. Polyurethane tape embedded with cork for superior grip and cushion.
SaleRANK NO. 9
Cinelli Cork Gel Ribbon Handlebar Tape, Black
  • Thin layer of VibraSorb  gel
  • Superior shock absorbing properties for greater comfort.
  • Heat-proof to 60°C
  • highly elastic
  • Perfect for endurance road rides
SaleRANK NO. 10
Gonex Bicycle Handle Wraps Handlebar Bike Tape Cycling PU Leather + EVA Foam...
  • 【PU Leather Material】Gonex Handlebar Tapes are made of Hard PU Leather Material to provide sturdy gripping feel and...
  • 【3mm Thickness EVA Foam】Gonex Handlebar Tapes have 3mm thickness EVA foam material at backing to provide soft grip, extra...
  • 【Double-Sided Adhesive Backing & 2 Finishing Tapes】Gonex Handlebar Tapes will come with full length adhesive backing to ensure...
  • 【94.5 Inch (2400mm) Length】94.5 inches length by 1.18 inches width design fits for most kinds of road bike handlebars. Gonex...
  • 【Includes 2 Handlebar End Plugs】Gonex Handlebar Tapes will with 2 Screw-on metal end plugs in design will not slip or pop out....
RANK NO. 11
ALIEN PROS Bike Handlebar Tape Carbon Fiber (Set of 2) Black Silver - Enhance...
  • STURDY AND CONFIDENT GRIPPING POWER - created by bike riders for bike riders Alien Pros Bicycle Carbon Fiber bicycle handlebar...
  • ABSOLUTELY NO-SLIP IN ALL WEATHER CONDITIONS - made of top Carbon Fiber material at optimal thickness Alien Pros bicycle handle...
  • LOVE IT OR YOUR MONEY BACK at Alien Pros we strive to be the best road bike handlebar tape bike bar tape solution in the Galaxy if...
  • Set of 2 ROLLS + 2 END CAPS + IDEAL DIMENSIONS each Carbon Fiber handlebar tape is 78.7'' or 2 meters in length 1.18'' or 3cm in...
  • FULL ADHESIVE GEL BACK HASSLE-FREE INSTALLATION easy installation with the flexible and self-adhesive gel bar tape - simply peel...
RANK NO. 12
Dosarzo Bicycle Bar Tape Grip Ultra-Thin 1.2mm, Road Bike Handlebar Tape with...
  • [ Ultra-thin 1.2mm ]- Dosarzo Bike Handlebar Tape Size is 200*3*0.12cm. Use 3M glue, better fix the position of the road bike...
  • [ Easy to Clean ] -Bar Tape dirt can be wiped off with a damp cloth easily , convenient for daily bicycle handlebar tape cleaning.
  • [ Breathable and Water Absorption ] -H10 bike bar tape made of absorbent and Soft Material, Perforated design to maintain good...
  • [ Comfortable and Shock Absorbing ] -Designed for comfort and performance, can mitigate the shock from the road effectively, and...
  • [ Comfortable PU Leather Tape ] -Microfiber leather surface, comfortable to the touch, added comfort during long bicycle rides...
RANK NO. 13
Marque Fusion Bike Handlebar Tape – Bicycle Handle Bar Tape Wrap for Road and...
  • SUPERIOR GRIP - Advanced polyurethane surface with micro geometric pattern offers grip and control whether rain or shine
  • SOFT AND COMFORTABLE – Layered tape with padded shock absorbing base material creates cushion and added comfort during long...
  • LIGHT AND FLEXIBLE - Lightweight flexible material wraps bar surface for perfectly wrapped handlebars, aerobars or bullhorn
  • WEAR RESISTANT - Designed for comfort and performance without sacrificing durability or steering, perfect for road bikes or any...
  • EASY INSTALLATION - Perfect amount of stretch and padded foam backing for easy installation and reinstallation and includes handle...

Things to Consider Before Best Handlebar Tapes

Anatomy of A Handlebar Tape

The handlebar tape (in English “bar tape”), is a strip of fabric rolled upon itself, which must be applied to the racing bend according to specific criteria.

The task of the tape is not only to complete the aesthetics of the bike but also allows you to cover the fold (protecting it from oxidation), offers grip on the hands and has a shock-absorbing effect, which helps reduce the vibrations transmitted to the wrist and therefore avoid the development of technopathy on the hands.

Tape: usually there are two rolled strips, to be applied on each side of the fold. The external part may present drawings or serigraphs, while the internal part is equipped with a band of glue (protected by a paper tape that must be removed), which prevents the video from moving when we grasp it with your hands once applied to the fold;
• Cable tie strip: a small band of tape that should be applied to cover the straps of the TSIs;
• Adhesive: to fix the video once it reaches the horizontal part of the fold. Often this adhesive is either not present or is replaced by electrical tape;
• Caps: to be fixed inside the hole on the crease, they prevent dirt from getting into the fold, and the video starts to tear, keeping it in position;

Cotton

The cotton handlebar tapes are strips of machine-spun fabric. The ribbons in this material are soft and very thin and have an external wrinkled part due to the mechanical spinning.

Cotton has been the only material (along with leather) used on racing bikes for decades. The application is not simple, because being very thin it tends to make creases.

It has an aesthetically very nice effect, but being subtle the absorption of vibrations is reduced to a minimum. It is an obligatory choice for those who want to restore an old racing bike or give a vintage effect to their cycle;

Gel

Gel tapes are part of the “new generation” of products, which have supplanted the use of cotton tapes on the bikes of professionals and amateurs.

It is a strip of plastic material, externally coated with a gel layer. Usually, these ribbons have the central part covered in gel, while the lateral bands do not have it.

A solution that makes the application very easy and allows you to make the overlaps between one passage and another easily.

The gel coating offers comfort and excellent damping of vibrations, however, tends to increase the diameter of the handlebar, creating problems for those with small hands or struggling to have firm and robust grips;

The EVA polymer (an acronym for Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) is a flexible and elastic synthetic plastic fibre. The handlebar tapes made of this material are therefore easy to apply and offer comfort to the palms of the hands since they tend to deform when compressed (this material is used for the soles of running shoes).

They also offer excellent grip (thanks also to deformation) and have a slower degradation, lasting longer than other materials;

The Intended Use of The Handlebar Tapes

One of the questions that should be asked when buying the handlebar tape is: “What should I do with it?”. This is because even an element that may appear secondary like the handlebar tape, often relegated to mere aesthetic purposes, has an impact on performance and comfort.

The handlebar represents, after the pedals and the saddle, the third and final point of contact between the man and the bicycle, so the choice of the belt should not be limited to the colour matching the saddle. Wrong decisions can have negative impacts on comfort and safety, offering uncomfortable and unstable outlets.

Absorption of vibrations: the handlebar is the final term of the impacts on the front wheel, which therefore discharge on the muscles of the hand and the wrist.

For this reason, if you suffer from the numbness of the hands or if you face paths that involve disconnected roads (an example of all is the Paris-Roubaix) you must apply a thick tape, which can reduce vibrations and increase absorption. In this case, the best solution is a gel tape;

Comfortable Grip

if you have small hands, problems with your fingers or you suffer from tingling after some time spent squeezing the handlebar.

You must choose a tape that will not increase the effort required and at the same time decrease the vibrations. This is why cotton tapes are not recommended because they are too thin. The best solution is the EVA tapes;

Extreme Conditions of Use

If you turn in conditions of heavy rain or excessive heat, you must use a tape capable of reducing slipping and at the same time allowing the evacuation of water and sweat from your hands. The best solution is microfibre tapes;

Ease of Application

If you have never applied a handlebar tape and are afraid of making a mistake or not being able, it is better to opt for a video that is easy and quick to apply. To avoid, therefore, the leather tapes, too hard, and those in cotton, which tend to make creases. The best solution are those in microfiber and gel;

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